Ritalin – Numbing Down Our Children

Three million children in America take drugs for problems in focusing their attention.  Are these drugs really helping children or are we merely numbing them down?

In the past 30 years there has been an increase of twenty times the prescription of drugs for attention-deficit disorder according to Dr. L. Alan Sroufe, professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Child Development.  Dr. Sroufe insists that “Attention-deficit drugs increase concentration in the short term but when given to children over long periods of time, they neither improve school achievement nor reduce behavior problems.  The drugs can also have serious side effects, including stunting growth.  The drugs enhance the ability to concentrate, especially on tasks that are not inherently interesting or when one is fatigued or bored, but they don’t improve learning abilities.  More importantly, the effects of stimulants on children with attention problems fade after prolonged use.  Children develop a tolerance to the drug and this its efficiency disappears.”

Putting children on drugs does nothing to change the causes of attention-deficit disorder but merely masks the effects.  Can we cure attention-deficit disorder?  By covering up the disease through drugs prevents us from seeking solutions.  Drugs allow everyone – politicians, doctors, teachers and parents off of the hook.